Inspiring and Challenging the Nation's Future Leaders in Science and Technology

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The high school championship match between Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology against Mira Loma High School at the 2015 National Science Bowl finals.Photo courtesy of Jack Dempsey, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

The high school championship match between Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology against Mira Loma High School at the 2015 National Science Bowl finals in Washington, D.C.

Buzzers, not bells, will ring in the New Year for thousands of middle- and high-school students all across the U.S. That's because they'll soon be pitting their math and science knowledge — and their reflexes — against one another in regional competitions of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) 26th National Science Bowl (NSB).

The competitions start this month, with four students from each team facing off in a fast-paced, question-and-answer format. (More information about the date and location of specific regionals can be found through the NSB Homepage). The winning team from each of the 48 middle- and 68 high-school regions will compete in the National Finals, held in Washington, D.C. from April 28 to May 2, 2016. At the Finals, winning teams can score exciting adventure trips to Alaska and national parks across the country to learn first-hand about science in the field; as well as trophies, medals, and supplies for their schools' science departments. But to many, the ultimate prize simply would be the prestige of winning the National Championship.

Today, the NSB draws more than 14,000 middle- and high-school competitors. More than 250,000 students have faced off in the NSB Finals since the first competition in 1991. The knowledge that former NSB competitors have acquired – and more importantly, the habits of study that they've learned along the way – have led them to success in variety of fields. Many have become researchers; others are science and math professors at some of our some of our nation's most prestigious universities.

While those career paths might seem intuitive, the math and science knowledge students need to be successful in the NSB also can lead to successful careers in other fields. The 2016 NSB competitors will follow in the footsteps of previous National Science Bowl® contestants, and will blaze a trail for students in science, math and engineering for the next quarter-century.

The National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students' knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics. Middle and high school student teams from diverse backgrounds are comprised of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. These teams face-off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, being tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl®, and sponsors the NSB finals competition.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit